Notice concerning Implementing the “State Council Regulations concerning Strictly Prohibiting Obscene Goods”
20 August 1985
WTZ No. 815
The “Regulations concerning Strictly Prohibiting Obscene Goods promulgated on 17 April 1985 by the State Council, are an important administrative regulation in resisting feudal and capitalist degenerate and declining ideological erosion, and protecting the physical and mental health of the popular masses and especially the youth. Cultural departments undertaking the important task of constructing a Socialist spiritual civilization must earnestly implement them. Persist in cutting of all import, production (including reproduction), peddling and dissemination of obscene goods, coordinate with relevant departments and do banning work well. Hereby, Some matters of the Ministry of Culture’s implementation of these State Council provisions are notified as follows:
I, The State Council document provides that, the work of banning publications is led uniformly by the local People’s Government, and all relevant departments have their own responsibilities. The responsibility of cultural departments is to ban all obscene goods by film distribution organs, publishers, bookstores, museums, libraries, theatre troupes, cinemas, fine art galleries, cultural centres (stations) and other work units under the jurisdiction of this system. All goods falling under describing sexual activities or undisguisedly propagating sexual lascivious images are without exception to be handed over to public security departments for uniform processing. Furthermore, cultural departments must, under the uniform leadership of the local People’s Government, vigorously cooperate with relevant work units to strengthen management and supervision work over the cultural market.
II, The work to ban obscene goods must be persistent and earnest, and must be carried out strictly according to the scope determined by the State Council, it is not permitted to set independent standards, and to exceed the scope arbitrarily. Literature and art products containing intermittent obscene content, that have artistic value, and fine art works displaying the beauty of the human body, or physiological and medical knowledge related to the human body or other natural science works, must not be considered as obscene goods and banned.
III, The administrative culture departments and relevant business work units must make banning obscene goods and strengthening management over literature and art works containing intermittent obscene content and having artistic value into a regular work, and earnestly grasp it.
1. Film departments must persist in the film examination system. Where imported films (including film videos) contain obscene scenes, they must be cut before they may be openly screened.
Reference material films that have not been cut, must preserved strictly as provided in document ZF No. (80)33, and the viewing scope must be strictly controlled. Apart from these films that have important reference value in understanding foreign politics, economics, military affairs and social or cultural trends, that have been approved by the Ministry of Culture China Film Documentary Centre according to regulations, for provision to relevant personnel for reference and learning, no other work units or individuals may lend them under any pretexts.
Any work unit or individual is prohibited to lend or receive films from any foreign embassy or foreign visitor in China or any overseas Chinese or Hong Kong and Macau compatriot under any pretext, and screen them in the said work unit.
2, Publishers must strictly keep the examination gate of publication content. All those falling under concretely describing sexual acts and undisguisedly propagating sexual lascivious images may not be published, printed (including pre-printing) or distributed without exception. Literature and art works having artistic value, that contain intermittent obscene content, and may engender harmful influence on minors, may only be arranged for publication after asking the provincial-level or higher controlling department for approval, are to be subject to necessary limitations in terms of printing quantity and distribution scope. Fine art works expressing the beauty of the human body, may only be published or distributed on the presupposition that artistic quality is guaranteed. In mass-type publications not aimed at fine art specialist personnel, naked images should not be printed in concentration. When publishing knowledge on human physiology and medical knowledge and other natural science works, no content exaggerating degeneracy may be propagated without exception.
All printing plants must contract the printing business of books, periodicals and newspapers according to the above regulations. They are strictly prohibited to privately reproduce publications with obscene or intermittent obscene content.
All State-operated, collective or individual bookstores or bookstalls and all other book, newspaper and periodical sales points are strictly prohibited to sell obscene books, newspapers, periodicals, pictorials, images and other printed products. All sorts of publications with limited distribution must be strictly distributed according to the provided scope, this may not be arbitrarily enlarged.
3, Libraries, museums, archives, and film galleries’ collections containing items with intermittent obscene content, are generally not dealt with through technology, but specialist persons must be appointed to keep them, and strict lending system and use scopes must be formulated, it is strictly prohibited to reproduce or reprint them, or disseminate them to unrelated persons.
IV, The work personnel of literature and art departments must strictly abide by the “State Council Regulations concerning Prohibiting Obscene Goods” and all provisions of this Notice. Offenders, where it constitutes a crime, are handed over to judicial organs for strict punishment according to the law; where it does not constitutes a crime, controlling departments impose punishments on the basis of the gravity of the circumstances.